Monday morning life
Monday 03 November 1997
The Savoy hotel: London's nicest cab rank. A glass roof, no blue- wool-coated salesmen dropping hamburger on your shoes, no geezers without taillights or insurance offering to take you home for a share of your mortgage, and, miracle of miracles, after our licensing hours have poured everyone on to the streets in one drunken howl, taxis.
Plus: built-in entertainment. I like the rich: they remind me that I have good taste. The Savoy heaves with them. Men in penguin suits trying to look like they've had a hard day breaking the general strike. Women whose faces glow with the sheen of face-cream with the word "baroness" in its branding, hair stiffened in salons, the flash of tulle and cut stones under their coats. All that money, and still they look like Jayne Torvill.
Luck smiles on us tonight. In front of us is a pair of beauties of 22, straight black hair pinned and sprayed into medusa curls on the backs of their heads. Through the revolving doors bursts a horde of Middle-Eastern matrons, identical purplish-blonde hair to which the word "big" could never be applied when there are words like "gargantuan", spangly things hanging off everything that sticks out, sober as judges but high as kites on sweet things and the liberty of being out at night without the old man.
They swarm over the girls like bears round honey. "Congratulations!" cries a fabulous old girl, 5ft tall, 18-stone bare-naked and 20 in her diamonds. "What's it like?" One of the girls looks down at the Harrods dress box under her arm. "Beige," she says, "With netting". Jonathan puts his hand over his mouth and nose. "And the ring?" Girl flashes a cluster of rocks that would keep a small glass-cutting factory in business for decades. Old girl nods approvingly. "Never trust a man," she says, "who's mean with jewellery."
I take a puff of my inhaler and she whirls round. "You're one of those, eh?" she grins, "My husband keeps me awake all night. All night!" "Tchac!" the woman next to her whirls her black eyeliner. "Men!" They go off into peals of laughter and yatter in Arabic (could be Farsi, my ear's not that good), prodding each other's arms and cackling.
The girls get into their cab, waved off with cries of goodwill and foreign- language ribaldry, and we are up next. We clamber in, settle down, and Jonathan says "Divine. Divine". Cab driver pulls slowly round the roundabout, head out of the window, shouting "mind the fur coats, ladies," and we head for Tulse Hill.
Life & Style blogs
Britain's kitchens so filthy that they present a health risk, says new research
Surgeon backs 'good death' plans - and reveals his own
NHS hit by stealth cuts of £2bn as tariffs received for medical procedures are reduced
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...